RICHMOND -- Virginia has so many agencies and boards with "housing" in their titles that the needy may find all the programs bewildering, Gov. L. Douglas Wilder said.
The governor said this week that he will propose streamlining the state's housing organizations when the 1991 General Assembly convenes in January.
"It's time to clear the confusion, and to put an end to excessive bureaucracy," Wilder said at the Governor's Housing Conference.
The state has a Department of Housing and Community Development, a Virginia Housing Study Commission and a Virginia Housing Development Authority. There are also boards that oversee those agencies and several housing funds.
"For those in need, it's more than a little bewildering to have to discern between the Virginia Housing Fund; the Virginia Housing Partnership Fund and the Housing Foundation," Wilder said.
Wilder said he has asked Secretary of Economic Development Lawrence H. Framme III to recommend ways to combine the housing agencies.
Wilder announced last spring that he planned to streamline several government agencies. He already has started overhauling the departments of education and economic development.
He also announced that the Virginia Housing Partnership Fund will provide $20 million in loans and grants for 52 projects this year. The money will help 3,200 poor families, Wilder said.
U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Jack Kemp promised the conference that his agency will now serve poor people instead of developers who misused housing funds during the Reagan administration.
A housing bill before Congress will provide federally backed loans to help first-time home buyers, "not to build golf courses in Florida and California," Kemp said.
Kemp said that Samuel Pierce, housing secretary under President Reagan, and his predecessors treated local government officials and developers as their clients when the agency should have been serving needy families.
"I don't want to get into a scapegoating," Kemp said. "I think there's enough blame for both the Democrats and Republicans."
Kemp also said he plans to work on improving security in public housing projects, evicting tenants who are involved with illegal drugs and helping more tenants buy their homes.
"There's no left or right on this issue; there's only forward or backward," he said.